Monday, July 26, 2010

Finding God After Leaving Religion

In Response to Steve McSwain's article published in the Huffington Post:

The author claims "you don't have to go to church to know God" like it is some grand revelation. Of course you can find God outside of religion; God isn't confined by religion. But there is definitely something lost by "dropping out."

People want spirituality without religion in the same way that people want sex without commitment. It may be a growing trend, and people may have legitimate reasons for 'dropping out,' but it is certainly not anything worthy of admiration. We will be reaping what we sow in this regard.

We grow up rebeling against our parents because they tell us what to do and teach us right from wrong and punish us, but we are secretly grateful in our adult lives that they took on that responsibility. I would hate to have grown up without parents acting in that capacity. I'm grateful for it, in the same way I am grateful for my religion helping to form my moral center. For all the dysfunction and imperfection, I think it has more benefit than not.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wedding Pictures!

Debbie and I
Sweaty palms.

The Philly Crew

At the Hilton

4 of 8 new nieces and nephews.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

On the Eve of Our Nuptials

July 10, 2010

My dearest Debbie,

I am sitting in the office, writing this letter to you, my beloved, on the eve of our marriage ceremony. It's 1am, a Saturday night, and everyone staying at the house (John, Todd, Megan, Michael and Maite) has gone to bed. After you left, Todd and everyone came back from the HiIlton, and Tim and Ana were still here. We were all having a good time talking and just relaxing and enjoying each other's company. I am so grateful for everyone coming to celebrate with us, and grateful that we have such great friends, and that we are beginning to have common friends, too! Michael and Maite and I sat out back smoking for a little while, and watched a YouTube clip of Julia Childs making an omelete. Then I went up, and here I am, at the computer, like a knight on the eve of a great battle, trying to document the experience of going to sleep one day single, and waking up the next day a married man. Crazy!

I'm writing to you, because its how I can truly express my love for you in a creative capacity. I hope to revisit this letter on each of our successive anniversaries, as a kind of ritual in our remember the day (at least, from my perspective) before one of the biggest days of our lives. We started out writing letters and emails, and as you've said, my writing wooed you;) I don't want that to necessarily die out. So here I am, at the computer, at 1am, typing my little heart out to you in the form of a love letter.

Part of me feels this should be something private, to be kept to ourselves, this letter exchange. But at the same time, you have always encouraged me to blog, to continue to nurture a gift, and to share that gift with the world. You have always encouraged my writing, and have encouraged that in the public sphere as well. It's like that book you have on the bookshelf, "Betty, I Love You, a published love story that is a celebration of marriage.

Scripture revealed itself to me tonight in Matthew 5:15, the gospel reading for our ceremony.

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden, nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket."

Love is to be proclaimed! Remember our story from Catholic Match that got published? Remember all those comments? Love stories touch people, and in a good way. That's why I decided to post this. I feel our union is being blessed by God, and it is awesome! I feel, for the first time in a while, that God is with me as I type to you, and speaking through me, in some subtle way, as I speak to you now. I thank God for who you are, and that you've chosen to spend your life with me.

Can't wait to see you tomorrow, my beautiful bride. I love you!